How far must the rich fall to make it "fair?" The Falling Fortunes of the One Percent The Falling Fortunes of the One Percent -- U.S. Business News - CNBC Let’s consider income first. Between 2007 and 2009, after-tax earnings by Americans in the top one percent for income fell 37 percent. On a pre-tax basis they fell 36 percent in the same period. That may sound like a minor haircut for One Percenters compared to people who lost their jobs. But when you take into account federal transfers, assistance and taxes paid, the incomes of the bottom 20 percent grew by 3 percent, while it fell a modest 2 percent for the middle 20 percent. In other words, the incomes of the top one percent fell 18 times more than the incomes for the middle class at the start of the recession.